The price of peace?

I wrote this after the Paris attacks. Still applies today, with some changes.

It’s hard to fight an idea, and that’s the problem with IS. This isn’t Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union where there was a clear command structure and someone at the top to negotiate with, someone who can then give an order and hostilities cease. Radical Islam isn’t like that. There isn’t a boss, just loose networks and cells and feeble minded young foot soldiers willing to give their lives in pursuit of an idea.

The truth is, we’ll probably never eradicate the idea, or the threat, just learn to contain it better. Paris last year, or Brussels today,¬†is maybe, God forgive me for saying this, the future.

The way it is going to be.

Yet there might be a way to stop the attacks. We could try to deliver on their idea, to the extent that we no longer become a target because we deliver better on it than they do.

In Ireland we could start by rounding up the small number of Irish Jews. The Chief Rabbi of Ireland, former justice minister Alan Shatter and others. Take them all to the Curragh under armed guard and then what? Maybe execute them, live on television so that IS can see our commitment to their idea? Or, to avoid the bloodshed, maybe transport them to Iraq and hand them over. At least we would not be the ones actually killing them, right?

Would that be enough? Maybe not. What about the gays then? Maybe round them up. Bit tricky, as we don’t have a list, but you know, start with Panti’s Twitter feed and go from there. True, it’ll be awkward, having celebrated passing marriage equality, but needs must. We could even use the marriage equality campaign’s email and activist list to identify more of the gays we will need to kill.

That won’t be the first instance of irony either. To placate the idea, we’ll probably have to ban all the non-Islamic religions, and pick up their advocates too. Bishops, priests, again it’d almost be funny to see David Quinn and Panti both staring at the same firing squad, but that’s the price.

Would that be enough? They’re not mad on the whole women equality thing, so strip women of their rights, just to be safe. Clare Daly, Averil Power, Ruth Coppinger, they’ll all have to be put in their place because there’ll be no room for uppity women with their notions of being equal to men. Burkas all around, no girls to go to schools, maybe beat the women who can read just to get them used to their new place. Would that be enough? At least it would solve the gender quota issue.

As we’d watch our sisters and mothers and daughters become chattel, as we watch our Jewish and gay and lesbian friends get shot dead, as we all praise Allah and punish the non-believers and especially those Muslim traitors who dared stand with the Jews and the gays and the women, maybe that’ll be enough for the believers in the idea to stop attacking us because we are implementing the idea better than they can.

Let’s do it all across Europe. Stop bombing IS. Maybe start bombing Israel instead? They’d like that, right? All across Europe we could round up the Jews again, raid the synagogues, watch the Jewish schoolchildren holding their German identity cards which told them they were equal citizens shaking in their hands as they are separated from their non-Jewish friends.

Let a religious police beat Dutch girls in Amsterdam who dare wear short skirts. Close Anne Frank’s house, because after all, the Nazis were right. Same with Auschwitz and Birkenau. We’ll have to rewrite our schoolbooks obviously. As for all those refugees fleeing IS, maybe order the Royal Navy, the Irish Navy, the Italian Navy to open fire and machine gun them in the water?

The truth is, if we surrender enough to the idea, the attacks will probably stop. If we don’t, the chances of us completely eradicating the terror cells are slim. In a continent of 500m, it’s impossible to stop every three or four poisoned fanatics with a bomb vest or a machine gun. We just can’t stop them. We may even stop most of them, but we just can’t stop them all.

The truth is, surrender is the most effective option.

But you know what?

Fuck them. Let them come with their bombs and their guns, and let them face the barrels of Muslim British soldiers or Muslim French cops or gay Dutch special forces officers or female Belgian cops. We’ll put them in the ground, and the next ones too, and then mourn our losses. Because what we have in Europe is a different idea to IS, and it is an idea worth fighting and yes, even dying for.

There is a high price we will have to pay to defend our synagogues and magazines (and airports and Metros) and gays and women and all religions and yes, our Muslims too.

The alternative is not peace, but a living death watching our Jewish friends and neighbours and all those others whom IS deems not fit to exist disappear off in the back of a truck or in a train carriage.

No. This is Europe. This is our way of life. Out on a Parisian night, flying home to family, travelling on the Metro, men, women, gays, straight, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist.

This is our idea. This is our continent, our way of life, and it’s the right way of life because millions want to come here and live it too.

Paris was strong. London was strong. Madrid was strong. Brussels is strong.

Fuck them. Let the terrorists come at us. Europe can take it.

2 thoughts on “The price of peace?

  1. Hi Jason,

    I agree, even if we gave them “what they want”, they still wouldn’t be happy, and they’d keep coming up with more and more demands. These people have such a dark world view that they’d be too busy getting off on the power they wielded to ever want it to end.

    The elephant in the room is that extremely few people in politics or the media want to discuss the root causes, and how to tackle the problem, rather than the symptoms.

    Lots of reasons for that:
    – Government might have to admit a litany of past failures in foreign policy, and an absence of a clear plan or policy for bringing peace to the middle east
    – Journalists might have to learn the complex reasons and communicate them effectively to a disinterested public
    – Well, isn’t war and bombing far more exciting! Who cares that it clearly, clearly hasn’t worked. Who cares that it just perpetuates the cycle.
    – War is big business for arms manufactures, and the government are in the pockets of big business
    – Sure doesn’t the excitement of war distract the public from the real problems at home? Wasn’t that why Maggie started the Falklands war?
    – Doesn’t bombing stuff make the government look all strong and tough and potent!
    – There just isn’t an easy or quick solution. It’s long and hard and mightn’t be popular with a public baying for blood

    So the big question is “how do you stop young people growing up in the middle east with such a dark world view”?

    I haven’t a clue. I suspect it is through education and prosperity in the region. (Decades of war hasn’t exactly helped prosperity). It would take inventive thinking. I keep remembering Ghandi with his salt and home-spun linen. That did far more to boot out the Brits than any fighting.

    I guess you’d need co-operation and co-ordinated effort between all the governments in Asia, America and Europe… not an easy thing! I guess you’d have to be prepared to place sanctions… I have this uneasy feeling that it comes back to us, and fuel for our economy and our cars…

    Anyway, just some random thoughts I needed to get off my chest.


  2. Amen Brother, amen…We’ll bury them in the history books like we have every other bunch of thugs who came before them.

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